2019 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Atlas and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Audi Q7:

Atlas

Q7

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

44%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Q7:

Atlas

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

23 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

3.1/0 kN

5.5/.1 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.46/.5

.57/.7

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Audi Q7:

Atlas

Q7

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

57

187

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

345 lbs.

350 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

144

337

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

527 lbs.

888 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

279

290

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Atlas comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Q7’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Atlas’ warranty.

Reliability

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Q7’s 3.0 supercharged V6 engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Atlas has a standard 680-amp battery. The Q7’s 380-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Engine

The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 28 more horsepower (276 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Tires and Wheels

The Atlas has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Q7.

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Atlas may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion is quieter than the Q7 Prestige (41 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The Atlas has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, 4.5 inches more third row legroom and 5.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

Atlas

Q7

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Atlas easier. The Atlas’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Atlas’ cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in every dimension:

Atlas

Q7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

23.8”/53”/85”

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

Max Width

61.6”

52.5”

Min Width

45”

42.6”

Height

37.5”

30”

Ergonomics

The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Atlas is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Atlas is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the Atlas than the Q7, including $70 less for a muffler, $37 less for front brake pads, $291 less for a starter, $240 less for fuel injection, $4 less for a fuel pump, $248 less for front struts and $27 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Atlas will be $17114 to $17545 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

The Volkswagen Atlas outsold the Audi Q7 by 59% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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